Creationist support of eugenics and genocide in the past
|July 5, 2013||Posted by scordova under Darwinism|
This is a follow up to : Hitler and the Nazi Darwinian Worldview
UD’s purpose is serving the ID community. Even if I may not necessarily agree with the Darwinists, there are times things they say merit our attention and consideration. It is fair to say Darwinism inspires a lot of bad science as well as twisted morality. But I have to offer cautions if one wants to play the eugenics or genocide card because if you’re a Jew or Christian, if you play these cards, it can be thrown right back at you because of the abundant and zealous genocide practiced by God’s people in the Old Testament. In that sense, Old Testament “creationists” were also advocates of genocide and eugenics.
I’m not saying to stop connecting Darwinism to eugenics and genocide, but if you’re a Jew or Christian, be prepared to respond when the Old Testament genocide issue is raised. To that end I provided my ideas in : Malicious Intelligent Design and Question of the Old Testament God because I found some of the explanations for Old Testament genocide largely unsatisfactory and probably wrong. For example, one essay circulated by Christians said it was a kind thing to euthanize babies since the children of Israel killed the kid’s mommy and daddy in the holy war! That had to be one of the most awful things I’ve ever read coming from Christians. I’m sorry I don’t have a link to that essay. I was so disgusted reading it.
It should be worth mentioning there seems to be credible evidence a few creationists have also supported eugenics. Dr. West meet Dr. Tinkle.
Even more problematic for the claim that “Darwinism” was critical and instrumental in the development of eugenics is the uncomfortable fact that eugenics was also openly embraced by opponents of evolution (the first eugenics sterilization laws in the world were passed in 1907 Indiana, hardly a hotbed of “Darwinists”). The most notable of these anti-evolution eugenics supporters was probably William J. Tinkle, geneticist and prominent Creationist. Tinkle taught at religious LaVerne College and Taylor University, and participated in the activities of the Deluge Society, the first “Creation Science” organization. He then joined forces with the “young lions” of Creationism, Henry Morris, Duane Gish and Walter Lammerts, and with them he was one of the 10 Founding Fathers of the Creation Research Society, which later became the Institute for Creation Research.
Tinkle opposed evolution and Darwinian theory, but was an enthusiastic proponent of eugenics, and published several articles on the subject. In his 1939 textbook “Fundamentals of Zoology” he devotes a section to “The Need of Human Betterment”, where he laments the existence of “defective families” who “give birth to offspring like themselves” , producing “persons of low mentality, paupers and criminals in much greater ratio than the general population” [8, p. 130]. Negative eugenics via institutionalization seems to have been his preferred eugenic solution:
It is an excellent plan to keep defective people in institutions for here they are not permitted to marry and bear children.[8, p. 131]
[Scientists who are working at the task of improving the human race] would like to increase the birth rate of families having good heredity, while those people having poor heredity should not marry at all.[8, p. 131]
The author of Genetic Entropy, John Sanford himself confessed in his book while he was a Darwinist, he was a eugenicist at heart. To his credit he no longer holds that view even though he firmly believes the human genome is deteriorating.
I’ve provided this not because I think the creationists are in any way as guilty as Darwinists in eugenics (or abortion), but to suggest caution if one is going to play the genocide and eugenics cards. Playing what you think are good cards may not be as easy as one supposes. I know that from experience on many levels. 🙂
[posted by scordova in his service to the News desk and commentary on News for 1 week]